David Bronner, president and CEO of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, was arrested Monday morning outside of the White House for protesting a federal policy banning U.S. farmers from growing industrial hemp.
Bronner locked himself into a mobile steel cage with hemp plants and was camped out that way in Lafayette Park for almost three hours before firemen showed up and forcibly removed him with a chainsaw, according to reports.
“The industrial hemp plants I am harvesting and processing into oil cannot produce a high of any kind, but according to the Obama Administration I’m in possession of approximately 10 pounds of marijuana,” said Bronner in a recent press release.
Bronner uses hemp oil in his company’s soap products and pleaded with President Obama via a P.A. system to allow him to continue growing hemp for his business practices. Traffic was shut down by police near 16th and H streets at 10:30 a.m. The fire department showed up shortly afterward to cut Bronner from his cage. According to reports, Bronner showed up at 8:00 a.m. with a trailer specifically designed to prevent it from being opened or towed away. The trailer read: “DEAR MR. PRESIDENT. LET U.S. FARMERS GROW HEMP!”
Hemp is considered a controlled substance under U.S. law, same as marijuana.
“Dr. Bronner is the source of about $100,000 dollars a year of hemp oil from Canada,” said Ryan Fletcher, a spokesman for Bronner. “He’s doing this action in part because he wants to be able to source that hemp oil from American farmers, rather than exporting his dollars to Canada.”
Though Bronner’s methods may be extreme, his message isn’t all that crazy. “The industrial hemp plants I am harvesting and processing into oil cannot produce a high of any kind, but according to the Obama administration, I’m in possession of approximately 10 pounds of marijuana,” he said. “President Obama’s U.S. attorney who handles drug cases in Washington, D.C., will not be able to prove my hemp has any more drug value than a poppyseed bagel.”
After a morning of ignored “cease-and-desists”, Bronner was cut free of his cage and promptly arrested before noon.
Do you think Bronner’s actions were a little much? Or should he be allowed to grow hemp for his business practices? Sound off below.
Here’s a video of the thing: